Growth of Mixed Birch–Coniferous Stands in Relation to Pure Coniferous Stands at Similar Sites in South-eastern Norway
Abstract:Mean age, mean and top heights and yield were studied in 20 mixed stands of birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh. and B. pendula Roth) and Picea abies (L.) Karst. and nine mixed stands of birch and Pinus sylvestris L. in south-eastern Norway. Each mixed stand and the adjacent pure coniferous stand (control) were growing under the same site conditions and had not been commercially thinned. There were no significant differences in mean age at breast height or in top heights between birch and conifers in the mixed stands, while mean height was significantly higher for birch than for spruce. A growth index was calculated based on total volume and age at breast height. For the spruce sites the growth in young mixed stands (birch < 17 m) was superior to that of pure spruce, while the difference was insignificant in older stands. The growth index correlated positively with the ratio between generatively and vegetatively regenerated birch trees, and negatively with the age of the oldest species in the mixture and with site quality. For the pine sites there was no significant difference in the growth index between mixed birch-pine and pure pine stands. A mixture effect of birch on the volume yield of spruce or pine could not be demonstrated.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2002